Ben Foster reveals the EXACT moment he knew it was time to retire after ex-Man United keeper quit Wrexham


Ben Foster has revealed the precise moment he realised it was time to retire from professional football.

The former England and Manchester United goalkeeper, 40, hung up his gloves last month, just 10 weeks into a one-year contract with League Two club Wrexham.

It came after Foster let in five goals against each of MK Dons and Swindon Town as the Welsh club made a rocky start to their EFL return.

Foster, speaking on his Fozcast show, appears to pinpoint Dan Kemp’s goal to put Swindon 3-1 ahead in the 5-5 draw between the sides at the Racecourse Ground on August 19.

He said: ‘Back in the day when I was playing, in my mid-30s, I would have looked back at them and gone “should have done better there, I know I could have done better there.”

Ben Foster has revealed the exact moment he knew it was time to retire after he endured a tough start to the season with Wrexham in League Two

Foster conceded 13 goals in Wrexham's opening four league matches following promotion

Foster conceded 13 goals in Wrexham’s opening four league matches following promotion 

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‘These goals were going in and I’m thinking, “I couldn’t have done any better there because I couldn’t move any quicker.”

‘There was one, in that final game I played against Swindon. The guy got it out of his feet and he took a shot from about 22 yards and he bent it round into the corner.

‘As he got the ball out of his feet, normally what happens is I know he’s putting it in the corner to my right-hand side. I know it, I can read it like a book.

‘I couldn’t even read it like a book. Honestly, it is mad, I can’t explain it to you.

‘I just didn’t have that nous, it had gone a bit. I couldn’t read it. I knew he was putting it in the corner but I didn’t get the little steps in to make sure I knew I could save it.’

Asked if that kind of save would have been muscle memory in years gone by, Foster said: ‘Yes, I just did it. I wouldn’t even have to think about doing it before, honestly, I would just do it.

‘I would just take the little steps to know that I’d covered it off so even if he put it off the post and in, I’d still be able to save it. I know I could save it.’

Foster, who came out of retirement back in March to help Wrexham win the National League and promotion into League Two, said he felt ‘no shame’ in finishing a second time.

Foster appeared to reference this goal, scored by Dan Kemp to put Swindon 3-1 up last month

Foster appeared to reference this goal, scored by Dan Kemp to put Swindon 3-1 up last month

Foster admitted he wasn't quick enough to make what would once have been a routine save

Foster admitted he wasn’t quick enough to make what would once have been a routine save

‘I am 40 years old and I can’t do the things that I used to do. These goals are going in on a Saturday afternoon and I’m thinking, “boys, you deserve better than this,”‘ he said.

‘I was thinking I am letting the team down here. Goals going in, they’re massive in games, they can take momentum away, they can give momentum, change the course of every game, just one goal going in out of nowhere.

‘There were five goals [out of 13 conceded in four games] I could have done better with but that game against Swindon was the day I decided I was going to do this.’

In a statement released by Wrexham announcing his second retirement, Foster said: ‘The honest truth is that my performances this season haven’t reached the level I demand of myself and I feel that now is the right time to retire.’

The 40-year-old previously came out of retirement to join Wrexham and helped them win promotion to League Two last season

The 40-year-old previously came out of retirement to join Wrexham and helped them win promotion to League Two last season

His last game saw Wrexham concede five goals in a thrilling draw with Swindon

His last game saw Wrexham concede five goals in a thrilling draw with Swindon

‘At the forefront of my mind when making this decision, was not only what was best for me but also the Club, and making the decision now gives the Club every opportunity to assess their options before the window closes. Wrexham will always have a special place in my heart.’

Ryan Reynolds, Wrexham’s co-owner and star of Disney+ documentary Welcome to Wrexham, tweeted his appreciation for Foster’s time at the Racecourse Ground. 

‘He built memories I’ll never let go of for as long as I live,’ the Canadian actor said. ‘I love this guy. Thank you for everything, Ben.’ 

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